Why choose this course?
The course is taught by design practitioners and researchers, and enriched by national and international visiting tutors from a range of creative industries in an expanded mode of design. You will explore the role of graphic design as a tool through which to critically investigate current issues and contemporary visual culture, society, politics, identity, information, education, and technology. Your position as a designer will also be explored through design practice and theory.
You will develop your practice with specialist support through adaptable ‘Platform' groups such as Socially-Engaged Design, Visual Identity and Branding, Language and Publishing, and Interactive Design. These groups provide a lens through which to respond to briefs in each module, and develop your own research methods and practice through an Expanded Research Project.
You will be taught by a team of experienced design practitioners, educators, and published researchers. You will visit professional design studios and hear from inter/national guest speakers from the industry, work on live projects, on competitions, and participate in workshops.
Underpinned by critical thinking we work across design fields such as; speculative design, information design, social justice, sustainable design and branding, visual identity, design pedagogy, interactive design, film, photography, typography, exhibition design, user experience, (digital and print) editorial design. With an emphasis on process, you will be encouraged to innovate, invent and inspire change in an expanded future-facing approach to the discipline.
We employ developmental models such as the Double Diamond (Design Council, UK, 2006) to help structure a holistic development of your research methods from initial observations and analysis, through seminars and reviews, and experimentation with media, to audience engagement. In this context, research is not only a working process it can also be considered an outcome in its own right. In a studio-based community of practice, you will work collaboratively in teams and individually, with local communities, third-sector groups and other disciplines to discover new methods and meaning through design. Theory and practice are integrated into a critical examination of the media, methods, concepts, histories and future technologies of design.
The programme is structured around thematic areas of investigation (Platforms) which act as catalysts for a way of thinking, or a particular aspect of graphic design within each project; Socially Engaged Design, Visual Identity and Graphic Experience, Language and Letterforms, and Interactive Design. Each Platform is adapted to the skills/expertise of applicants, the expertise of visiting lecturers and in response to the changing nature of the world around us. At the end of the course, you'll be equipped with a combination of creative and transferable skills, cognitive processes and methodologies that will help you to shape the future of business, culture and communities.
Please note: this course was previously called Communication Design: Graphic Design MA.
Reasons to choose Kingston University
Your research will be informed by critical thinking, experimental formats and technologies, speculative design and public exhibitions.
You will collaborate with students from other design-based MA courses, benefitting from interdisciplinary methods and ways of working.
You will visit studios, work on live projects with local communities and take part in competitions.
You can explore your individual interests and develop your personal practice within graphic design and contemporary visual communication.
You will develop your practice through four platforms: Interactive Image, Graphic Identity and Experience, Social Design Activism and LetterForms.